WorkLife Stories
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WorkLife Stories

What’s the Best Thing That Anyone Has Ever Said to You?

Your CV Demonstrates Your Loyalty and Ability, and Your ‘Stay Ability”

Photo by Olya Kobruseva from Pexels

Has someone ever said something to you that surprised you? (In a good way). Maybe it was feedback about an attribute or skill you have, which you never gave much thought to, because it was just you being you, you doing what you do naturally, but to other people it was something special.

Your CV Demonstrates Your Loyalty and Ability, and Your ‘Stay Ability’

Those words gave Joe a sense of encouragement. He hadn’t considered his situation in that way before. But let’s back up a little to Joe’s Story:

What’s the Best Thing That Anyone Has Ever Said to You? Case Study:

Joe’s long-time role had been redundant, and although he was going through the motions of a government-funded initiative in support of getting people into work, his belief was that at the end of the training course he wouldn’t get a job. You see, Joe was in his early 60s, and his thinking was: that because of his age, organisations wouldn’t be interested in employing him.

Sage Wisdom

As facilitator of the job-search element of the course, I saw things differently, and I said to Joe: “Your CV demonstrates your loyalty and ability, and your ‘Stay Ability.” I could see those words gave Joe encouragement. I went on to say how his CV demonstrated his loyalty to the organisations he had previously worked with. While he’d been with his most recent employer for over 30 years, his career had been quite progressive and he’d advanced in terms of the roles and responsibilities he’d undertaken. Along with his CV demonstrating his loyalty and ability, it also demonstrated his ‘stay ability’.

To my way of thinking these factors made Joe an attractive candidate to employers. Yes, perhaps he only had four or five years before retirement, but this is actually quite substantial taking into account how much people move around in their WorkLives today.

Words of Wisdom

Someone younger may perhaps see an opportunity of joining an organisation as a stepping-stone to the next stage of their WorkLife, and will use this experience to facilitate this. Today’s job market is very different to that of when Joe began his WorkLife, when a job was for life. I actually think this is quite positive because it allows a flow which supports people at different WorkLife stages; and when people like Joe want to join an organisation with a commitment to staying with them for four or five years, the organisation will recognise this as being a genuine commitment.

Book Wisdom

My words led Joe to re-reading The Effective Executive by Peter F. Drucker — a book he’d found helpful when at his previous company, when his role and responsibility had progressed. He was reminded that the effective executive focuses on contribution, that he looks up from his work and outwards towards goals.

This led him to asking himself the question: “What can I contribute that will significantly affect the performance and the results of the institution I serve?” His reason for asking himself this question was by way of researching organisations he was applying to for jobs. This allowed him to prepare his application in a way that demonstrated what he would bring to the organisation, and also helped him to prepare for the interview, by way of being able to verbalise it coherently and succinctly. This question enabled Joe to give himself self-feedback on how his own commitment to making a contribution had always allowed him to think through what relationships his skills, his speciality, his function, or his department had to the entire organisation and its purpose.

Thinking in this way had allowed Joe to connect the dots, from an understanding of both the finer details and the bigger picture. Joe began to recognise and take ownership of this being something that he was really good at, and this is something he would bring to a new role at a new organisation that would be valuable.


Joe told me our conversation helped him to overcome his self-doubt and rethink his situation. He approached his job search with a more positive approach. He now recognised and appreciated just how much he had to offer a potential employer, and felt more confident in communicating this.

Today’s Book of the Blog is: The Effective Executive by Peter F. Drucker

Joe’s story has been adapted from chapter 17 of Your WorkLife Your Way: Overcoming Self-Doubt Through Self-Appreciation.

What’s the Best Thing That Anyone Has Ever Said to You? … are people’s stories of when someone said something to them that allowed them to feel good about themselves, allowed them to see what other people saw in them, that they themselves didn’t see, allowed them to recognise and appreciate their potential, and to take ownership of their uniqueness.

WorkLife Book Wisdom Stories:

The intention of the stories I share is to inspire you through people’s stories of their WorkLife experiences. Through these stories, you will learn about people’s dreams and ambitions, along with the challenges, obstacles, failures and successes they encountered along the road of their WorkLife journey. And how they used the power of book wisdom to help them find the inspiration and guidance to navigate their path to live their WorkLife with passion, purpose and pride.

My hope is that these book wisdom stories will help you throughout the chapters of your WorkLife Story.

I believe stories are a powerful mechanism for teaching, a powerful medium to learn through, and a powerful way to communicate who you are and what you stand for.



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Carmel O' Reilly

Carmel O' Reilly

WorkLife Learning Practitioner & Writer. Telling people’s powerful stories of WorkLife struggles and successes. Author of School Of WorkLife Books.